The International Criminal Court (ICC) has allowed the prosecutors to use the ‘missing’ witness’ written statement against lawyer Paul Gicheru.
This is after the prosecutors asked to be allowed to use both the witness identified as P-397, written statements and a transcript of their interviews including English translations.
The evidence includes 22 transcripts of interviews and their translations.
The witness is said to have been a prosecution witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang, following the post-election violence after the bungled presidential election in 2007.
Reports indicate that he went missing in 2014 but the court heard that he had been abducted.
“The timing of the occurence of the alleged abduction, shortly after the witness resumed contact with the prosecution, is consistent with the prosecution’s suggesting that the witness may be detained by persons who may wish him harm,” the judges ruled.
By that time, prosecutors at The Hague, led by Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, had said codes would be used to refer to witnesses to protect their identities.
On April 17, 2014, a three-judge Bench had ruled that eight witnesses who had withdrawn from the case should testify via video-link at an agreed location.
However, records at the court showed that the identities of eight prosecution witnesses who had withdrawn their statements were, in 2013, disclosed to the defence teams of Ruto and Sang.